A worker sorts parcels at a distribution center in Chenzhou, Hunan province. [Photo by Cao Gaolin/For China Daily]
Parcel delivery stations must buy work insurance for all couriers to better protect their legal rights, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee said.
The legal rights and interests of couriers cannot be ignored and the sector's capacity for safety supervision should be strengthened, according to Ma Junsheng, former head of the State Post Bureau of China and member of 14th CPPCC National Committee.
There are more than 4 million couriers in China, one of the groups employed by what the country terms 'new industries'. Their flexible employment model differs from the traditional model, which poses challenges for the protection of rights and interests.
Ma suggested that grassroots parcel stations should buy accident insurance for couriers, and that policy design for the industry's regulators be strengthened to ensure that companies fulfill their responsibilities, enhance inspection and optimize the process of collecting money in case of accidents.
Zhao Mingzhi, a mail delivery woman from the China Post Group and deputy to the National People's Congress, is also concerned with the protection of couriers' rights.
She proposed changes to the law to allow couriers to be insured.
Zhao also suggested greater publicity to raise awareness of the social insurance system so that couriers better understand their rights.
In addition, she proposed the creation of a committee to offer legal counsel to couriers.
China's postal and express delivery sector has undergone rapid development over the past decade. The volume of deliveries has increased nearly 20-fold from 5.6 billion in 2012 to 110.5 billion in 2022. Parcel delivery services have been extended to 95 percent of administrative villages.
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